CWB Optional Rule Changes

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rahamy
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CWB Optional Rule Changes

Post by rahamy »

With 28 OR's now available it can be quite challenging, from a development and testing point of view, to ensure all facets are properly tested before making changes public. For this reason we are seriously considering removing several of these OR's in the next major release, making them default behavior. Precisely which changes we will implement have not been nailed down just yet.

If you have an opinion on the subject either for making a specific rule default behavior, or for leaving something specific as optional you can post here.

If you need a refresher on what each option does you can see the Main Program Help File (F1), starting on page 8.
Rich Hamilton
WDS Operations Manager
Bill-Peters
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Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2022 8:41 pm

Re: CWB Optional Rule Changes

Post by Bill-Peters »

Here is the list of OPRs that I would consider part of the default set:

Full Melee Defensive Fire (I think that its a given that this one is a winner - I see no reason to have this as an OPR any longer)
Bridge Limit and Repair (ditto for above)
Isolation Rules - another given that we should use this
Weak Zone of Control (I dont know many that do not use this rule)
Mixed Organization Penalty - was for this rule a long time ago ... love that its in many of the game series.
Night Movement Fatigue - again, just a no brainer but sometimes marching during the summer heat should also add fatigue points too
Automated Defensive Fire - should not be an OPR ... Manual Defense Fire would turn it OFF if enabled
Extreme Fog of War - this takes care of the problem in games of "We see/know too much" - am a huge fan of this rule.
Optional Melee Resolution (I do not know many that use the old Single Phase format ... )

I also support these rules being default as well:

Optional Fire Results (I dislike a wide spread of casualties in the results ...)
Optional Melee Results
Optional Melee Resolution
Artillery Fire by Prolong - again, for me, its pretty much a given that this rule is enabled.
Rout Limiting - I hate mass routs. Billy Yank members in the clubs should too! ROFL I have seen this rule end scenarios on the 10th turn.
Density Fire Modifier - a common sense rule and many updates have been done to make it even better

I use the following rules and would have them default but I know that many disagree with their use:

Quality Fire Modifiers - I can go either way with both of these rules TBH... I do not know how much they would affect testing if ON or OFF. I suppose its one less check box to click when testing but only to be sure that the formula is working right would be my only answer.
Quality Melee Modifiers - Ditto on above.

I have been playing the ACW games as long as anyone. Started with Battleground and have been playing ever since. For me, the OPRs I use make the most sense. Others may disagree. Let the catcalls begin! ROFL :lol: :D

That eliminates a possible 17 OPRs. I just made your day, Rich! :D
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Jules Verne
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Re: CWB Optional Rule Changes

Post by Jules Verne »

Just to weigh in with my two cents - I am opposed to making any morale boosting rules default, I consider them really important to get historical results.

Artillery fire by prolong doesn't carry much weight in deciding the result of a game, make it default imo.

Quality fire and melee modifiers should also be default, it goes without saying that not all soldiers are equal!
Price'sRaid
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Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2023 7:15 pm

Re: CWB Optional Rule Changes

Post by Price'sRaid »

I would argue for the quality fire and melee modifiers to be made default - to me it is only logical to have these on; green troops versus veterans or well trained troops had a significant efficiency difference. This is also necessary to some extent for balancing in certain scenarios - think of the MSG vs Lyon scenarios in Ozark with hordes of untrained militia vs the smaller but better trained Federals.

Artillery fire by prolonge doesn't make a very large difference, so I wouldn't object to make it default if it made testing simpler.

The bridge rules are largely necessary in some scenarios, especially some of the Vicksburg ones and I would support making the rule default although I can see why some might not want the added complexity.

The full melee defensive fire is good in my opinion simply because it was not guaranteed that a charge could be begun successfully during the war, so some sort of added buff to the defensive to reflect this in a way helps. Although I think a better thing here would be a morale check of some sort when initiating the melee to reflect that sometime the regiments just wouldn't charge.

At least from my perspective, the isolation rules and flank melee modifier are good and logical and could be made default (an isolated unit historically wouldn't have fought well in most cases, and troops with supported flanks tended to fight better than those with an exposed flank [although maybe a better approximation of this would be a negative morale on units with a flank in the air, not a buff for those supported]). I would argue that propotionate opportunity fire and night movement fatigue are good candidates for default, as well as weak zone of control.

Ones that I think should NOT be made default:
1. Artillery capture - the A/I does not handle this well so it's really best to have this turned off in solo play vs the A/I
2. Higher fatigue recovery rates - this one has always seemed to have unhistorical effects to me
3. Rout limiting - again, unhistorical effects. See XI Corps at Chancellorsville, MSG at Boonville, etc. Panic is contagious and massive routs and disorder did happen at times.
4. Limited artillery limbering can't be default for the reasons it was just removed from default. I played Olustee as the Federals when this rule was default and the A/I Confederates just couldn't get a spot clear in the woods to unlimber at all near the actual battlefield
5. Alternate fixed unit release seems odd to me - to my thinking the units shouldn't be reacting if they have no way of knowing the enemy is near
mihalik2
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Joined: Thu May 18, 2023 1:52 pm

Re: CWB Optional Rule Changes

Post by mihalik2 »

Only two I adamantly oppose making default are Manual Defensive Fire and Isolation.

Here is a thread from the Tavern pertaining to isolation:
https://www.wargame.ch/board/acwgc/view ... =isolation

As to Manual Defensive Fire the big problem is that defensive fire in the Turn mode is "a joke", to quote from a recent video. Until that is fixed, I much prefer playing Phase.

In both cases I think the majority of players prefer to use those optional rules, but some of us do not, and I would really appreciate the option to play without them.
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LarkinVB
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Re: CWB Optional Rule Changes

Post by LarkinVB »

mihalik2 wrote: Sat Dec 02, 2023 1:12 pm As to Manual Defensive Fire the big problem is that defensive fire in the Turn mode is "a joke", to quote from a recent video. Until that is fixed, I much prefer playing Phase.
I don't get the joke. Probably not my preferred kind of humor.
Quaama
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2023 3:15 pm

Re: CWB Optional Rule Changes

Post by Quaama »

My opinions on the various Optional Rules are aimed at achieving, wherever possible, the simulation value of the games.

LEAVE AS OPTIONAL

Manual Defensive Fire - A few people seem to prefer this mode of play so leave it in. However, this rule can lead to farcical situations. An attacking player can freely move across the defender's LoS, give the gunners and infantry a wave hello, then move into a safe hex where the defender can't see you or where you are more protected from their fire.
Higher Fatigue Recovery Rates - Although this rule is invariably checked it probably shouldn't be as once a unit had suffered high casualties (usually nowhere near what our wargaming soldiers experience) that was it for them in the entire battle.
Rout Limiting - Another rule that is invariably checked but shouldn't be because routs were 'infectious'. When one unit saw another on the run they would often go the same way, especially so if that rout had exposed their flank. Still, in my experience, people will not play with this rule unchecked so best to have it as optional.
Mounted Cavalry Skirmishers - A few months ago I would have said this rule should be default. However, changes made in v4.03 unbalance some scenarios where there are cavalry units of 50 men and under. Probably best to leave it as optional.
Higher Disrupted Movement - I can see arguments for and against this one. Probably best to leave it as optional.
Optional Melee Resolution - Like Manual Defensive Fire this rule should remain optional for those who prefer Turn Play to still enjoy the games.
Weak Zone-of-Control - I can see arguments for and against this one. Probably best to leave it as optional.
Full Melee Defensive Fire - Like Manual Defensive Fire this rule should remain optional for those who prefer Turn Play to still enjoy the games.
Artillery Capture - A fine concept that, as pointed out in another post above, doesn't work well in practice. Probably best to leave it as optional.
Artillery Ammo by Cannon - It is rare for an army to run out of ammo [Yes, there is Gettysburg but the CSA still had plenty of short range artillery ammo, it was only the long-range shells they were getting short on]. Probably best to leave it as optional.
Extreme Fog of War - Opinions seem divided on this one. I can see arguments for and against this one. Probably best to leave it as optional.
Automated Defensive Fire - Necessary for Phase Play but not Turn Play so needs to be optional for that reason.

NEITHER HERE NOR THERE
Optional Fire Results & Optional Melee Results - In the long run for all except the shortest of scenarios it should make little difference to whether these options are checked or not due to the mathematics of the thing.

MAKE DEFAULT

Quality Fire Modifiers - Makes sense, better quality gets better results.
Density Fire Modifier - Makes sense, easier to hit a large target than a small one.
Night Movement Fatigue - Makes sense, any significant night movement was rare. The only ones usually out and about were some scouts.
Alternate Fixed Unit Release - Given that in the games you know where the fixed units are you can plan to sneak up and surprise them and inflict significant damage. In real life, you would not have known they were there, let alone that they were 'fixed' and not going to do anything to stop you. A great example of this occurs in the Bull Run scenario; Miles' Division is a sitting duck without this rule.
Quality Melee Modifiers - Makes sense, better quality gets better results.
Isolation Rules - Makes sense, units hated having the enemy on their flanks let alone being completely surrounded. The isolation penalties are appropriate for a situation that is very difficult to achieve on anything other than a small scale.
Partial Retreats - Makes sense, if the men are retreating then every possible man will do so. They're not going to stop and say 'There's too many men there, let's turn back and face the enemy and surrender'. Also, stacking limits (artillery excepted) seem mostly designed to reflect 'deployed units' not those hurrying away from the enemy.
Flank Morale Modifier - Makes sense, units hated having the enemy on their flanks.
Bridge Limit and Repairing Artillery - Necessary for any scenario with such bridges. If you don't want the bridge repaired then don't put it on the map, just have a picture of a damaged bridge.
Retire by Prologue - Represents a realistic way of falling back artillery. Good rule.
Proportional Opportunity Fire - Makes sense, easier to hit a large target than a small one.

A SPECIAL CASE - Probably Should be Removed

Mixed Organizational Penalty (MOP) - A stupid rule. There is no historical justification for it.
By checking MOP then 'mixing' units you are lowering the morale of 'offending' units by 1/6 (16.67%). I don't know of any historical instance where a unit's morale plummeted down from 100% to 83% in a twenty-minute period merely because another friendly unit from outside their brigade came within the same 125 square yard area as them. It just doesn't make any sense.
Can anyone present any significant historical justification for such a thing?
Armies, especially in the CSA, frequently mixed units before and during the battle. Quite a number of scenarios include regiments in brigades that are from another brigade as part of that brigade's organisation in a scenario.
Ashantai
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Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2023 9:19 pm

Re: CWB Optional Rule Changes

Post by Ashantai »

Quaama wrote: Sat Dec 02, 2023 3:19 pm My opinions on the various Optional Rules are aimed at achieving, wherever possible, the simulation value of the games.

LEAVE AS OPTIONAL

Manual Defensive Fire - A few people seem to prefer this mode of play so leave it in. However, this rule can lead to farcical situations. An attacking player can freely move across the defender's LoS, give the gunners and infantry a wave hello, then move into a safe hex where the defender can't see you or where you are more protected from their fire.
Higher Fatigue Recovery Rates - Although this rule is invariably checked it probably shouldn't be as once a unit had suffered high casualties (usually nowhere near what our wargaming soldiers experience) that was it for them in the entire battle.
Rout Limiting - Another rule that is invariably checked but shouldn't be because routs were 'infectious'. When one unit saw another on the run they would often go the same way, especially so if that rout had exposed their flank. Still, in my experience, people will not play with this rule unchecked so best to have it as optional.
Mounted Cavalry Skirmishers - A few months ago I would have said this rule should be default. However, changes made in v4.03 unbalance some scenarios where there are cavalry units of 50 men and under. Probably best to leave it as optional.
Higher Disrupted Movement - I can see arguments for and against this one. Probably best to leave it as optional.
Optional Melee Resolution - Like Manual Defensive Fire this rule should remain optional for those who prefer Turn Play to still enjoy the games.
Weak Zone-of-Control - I can see arguments for and against this one. Probably best to leave it as optional.
Full Melee Defensive Fire - Like Manual Defensive Fire this rule should remain optional for those who prefer Turn Play to still enjoy the games.
Artillery Capture - A fine concept that, as pointed out in another post above, doesn't work well in practice. Probably best to leave it as optional.
Artillery Ammo by Cannon - It is rare for an army to run out of ammo [Yes, there is Gettysburg but the CSA still had plenty of short range artillery ammo, it was only the long-range shells they were getting short on]. Probably best to leave it as optional.
Extreme Fog of War - Opinions seem divided on this one. I can see arguments for and against this one. Probably best to leave it as optional.
Automated Defensive Fire - Necessary for Phase Play but not Turn Play so needs to be optional for that reason.

NEITHER HERE NOR THERE
Optional Fire Results & Optional Melee Results - In the long run for all except the shortest of scenarios it should make little difference to whether these options are checked or not due to the mathematics of the thing.

MAKE DEFAULT

Quality Fire Modifiers - Makes sense, better quality gets better results.
Density Fire Modifier - Makes sense, easier to hit a large target than a small one.
Night Movement Fatigue - Makes sense, any significant night movement was rare. The only ones usually out and about were some scouts.
Alternate Fixed Unit Release - Given that in the games you know where the fixed units are you can plan to sneak up and surprise them and inflict significant damage. In real life, you would not have known they were there, let alone that they were 'fixed' and not going to do anything to stop you. A great example of this occurs in the Bull Run scenario; Miles' Division is a sitting duck without this rule.
Quality Melee Modifiers - Makes sense, better quality gets better results.
Isolation Rules - Makes sense, units hated having the enemy on their flanks let alone being completely surrounded. The isolation penalties are appropriate for a situation that is very difficult to achieve on anything other than a small scale.
Partial Retreats - Makes sense, if the men are retreating then every possible man will do so. They're not going to stop and say 'There's too many men there, let's turn back and face the enemy and surrender'. Also, stacking limits (artillery excepted) seem mostly designed to reflect 'deployed units' not those hurrying away from the enemy.
Flank Morale Modifier - Makes sense, units hated having the enemy on their flanks.
Bridge Limit and Repairing Artillery - Necessary for any scenario with such bridges. If you don't want the bridge repaired then don't put it on the map, just have a picture of a damaged bridge.
Retire by Prologue - Represents a realistic way of falling back artillery. Good rule.
Proportional Opportunity Fire - Makes sense, easier to hit a large target than a small one.

A SPECIAL CASE - Probably Should be Removed

Mixed Organizational Penalty (MOP) - A stupid rule. There is no historical justification for it.
By checking MOP then 'mixing' units you are lowering the morale of 'offending' units by 1/6 (16.67%). I don't know of any historical instance where a unit's morale plummeted down from 100% to 83% in a twenty-minute period merely because another friendly unit from outside their brigade came within the same 125 square yard area as them. It just doesn't make any sense.
Can anyone present any significant historical justification for such a thing?
Armies, especially in the CSA, frequently mixed units before and during the battle. Quite a number of scenarios include regiments in brigades that are from another brigade as part of that brigade's organisation in a scenario.
I think this sums up my thoughts near perfectly.

The only change I'd make is night movement fatigue. In big scenarios it's often necessary to move units around effectively.

The quality fire/melee ones are the ones which absolutely need to be made default even if nothing else is.
mihalik2
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu May 18, 2023 1:52 pm

Re: CWB Optional Rule Changes

Post by mihalik2 »

LarkinVB wrote: Sat Dec 02, 2023 2:39 pm
mihalik2 wrote: Sat Dec 02, 2023 1:12 pm As to Manual Defensive Fire the big problem is that defensive fire in the Turn mode is "a joke", to quote from a recent video. Until that is fixed, I much prefer playing Phase.
I don't get the joke. Probably not my preferred kind of humor.
Sorry, didn't mean to imply that the joke was at all funny.
Bill-Peters
Posts: 193
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2022 8:41 pm

Re: CWB Optional Rule Changes

Post by Bill-Peters »

And I think Rich is looking for just responses and not a debate. All of us have an opinion and its just as well if we all just state our choices and leave it at that rather than try and diagnose everyone's response. Just a quick, "Here's my list" and that I think is all Rich was after. Its all pretty subjective in some ways but there is no doubt that the lines are drawn on some of these rules and lets not argue about why one person's choice is wrong and another's is right. I think a poll with boxes by each rule would really be the way to do this. "Default or not: Make your choice" ...
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